And your point is?

It's the strangest thing when a difficult parent is seriously ill. There's this push and pull that cannot be appreciated by someone who hasn't experienced it.

One minute your stomach is in knots and you're frightened for their life, doing anything you can to help them live. The next you're like, "did you really just say that to me after I just saved your life?"

Is it that they don't appreciate us or is it that they just don't appreciate their life? Is it that they know we'll always be there for them so shitting on us repeatedly has no risk?

Although never surprised at my mother's complete disregard for my feelings, I am always perplexed by it. How can she not care how hurt I am? How my own child feels, especially how I am making him feel, means more to me than anything else. I would never put anyone ahead of my child. Never have and never will.

Is it because I am adopted that my mother has such disregard for me? I don't think so though I do think my mother should have been screened more thoroughly, even though I realize there are worse mothers out there. At this point in time she'd likely not admit or remember it but she told me a long time ago, in a way that was meant to be critical of the social worker who was involved in my adoption, that she'd almost not gotten me. The social worker had said she was worried my mom was too intent on getting a baby just like the first one she'd adopted. My mom thought the social worker was wrong. I think the social worker may have been on to something.

I am awake and writing this because my mom called me fom the hospital to see if I was coming with her to another hospital for a test she's having. When she called it was 6:45am on Sunday and the test is tomorrow Monday at 2pm. Its my understanding nobody goes with her, the test is simple, painless xray. I got up anyway and chatted a bit with my mom, just to make sure she was ok.

Yesterday was a tough day as my mom chastised me for refusing contact with someone who has mistreated and taken advantage of me for many years, someone I have finally decided to cut out of my life. My mother disapproves of the fact I am refusing to facilitate her ongoing relationship with this person. In spite of the fact that my conscience is clear and I know I am not in the wrong, oh, and in spite of the fact that I am 50 years old, it still hurts to have your mom take the enemy's side.

Am I the only one going though this?


  1. It's odd to see the moments of weakness that appear with major illness. In many cases they can look like a sweetness of character, like tenderness finally showing through. In my experience the opposite has usually proven true. The apparent sweetness is, indeed, weakness and frailty looking for protection and comfort. But when enough has been gathered the sweetness disappears. Instead whatever pattern of behavior has the most practice takes over and is often radically overemphasized. It reminds me a little of dementia. It's like watching a person be distilled into one or two cycles of behavior or thought, without any of the normal reasons for them.

    I'm sorry you are dealing with this. We went through something similar with Athena's mom over the last couple years. Now that she's in recovery her behavior has tempered a lot. But there were many days I wondered why I spoke to this woman. I hope you can find some peace in this experience.

  2. I am so sorry you're going through this, Campbell. Perhaps your mother is suffering some form of dementia that's affecting her personality in some negative way. Regardless, it does hurt when a loved one aligns his/her self with a person you've chosen to not have a relationship with for good reason. I've dealt with painful relationship issues in a variety of ways, some helpful and others not so much. One of the most helpful things I've done is to treat myself to some personal time at a SPA! I always leave feeling upbeat and recharged.

  3. Campbell, I'm sorry you are going through this. My mother was very trying during her last years but she was such a nice person underneath it all that one couldn't be mad at her. Plus in her case, it was genuine mental deterioration. I think you have always been very candid about your mother's ability to manipulate situations and people, and so when she does it now, you're not wearing any protective blinkers. What you get is what you get, and you've known it for a long time. I wonder if this makes this a lot more fatiguing than if you were the type of person to ignore or deny? In any event, it's tough. But so are you. I hope you have people around you to lean on.

  4. Dementia is very, very tough to deal with. :( Having just went through this, I can sympathize.


  5. I'm sorry you have to deal with a parent who is so cruelly indifferent to your feelings. Some people are just thoroughly self-centered. People like that usually don't mellow when they get old and sick; they get worse - more demanding and more manipulative. It must be very depressing for you. I wish you lots of love and support.

  6. "The apparent sweetness is, indeed, weakness and frailty looking for protection and comfort. But when enough has been gathered the sweetness disappears. Instead whatever pattern of behavior has the most practice takes over and is often radically overemphasized."

    I really think 'I am' has nailed it in saying the above.

    Thanks all for the words of empathy and support. I will survive as they long as I am allowed to moan about it all now and then.

    I wish positivity and support to anyone else reading here who is doing their best to advocate for and support a difficult parent. It's a helluva thing.

  7. My parents aren't old enough to be goingt through this, but it must be incredibly hard to become the caretaker for a parent-especially a difficult one.

  8. My parents aren't old enough to be experiencing this yet-but I know it will come. I'm sorry your mom is making it so difficult.

  9. Though I am bit delayed on this post, I had to leave you a comment.

    This treatment has nothing to do with your adoption, but rather your mother going through very serious life changes -- chances are she is just as freaked out as you are.

    I am an adoptee myself, and have since lost both sets of parents (birth and adoptive) I can tell you that you should value (even when it's hard, and you'd rather walk away) those moments you still have left with your mother. It's human nature to lash out when things are going well, and try your hardest to know your mother doesn't mean to hurt your feelings.

    It's hard, but as a strong woman this is something you are fully capable of handling.


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